One of the most interesting things about Johnny Cash's much heralded "comeback" as a recording artist at the close of his career was the degree to which his musical approach remained the same as it had always been. He ended things as he began, with a populist fusion of folk, country, and gospel done up in an unhurried, plain-spoken eloquence. That he covered songs written by young alternative rockers in his autumn years doesn't change the fact that they became vintage Johnny Cash as soon as he stepped to the microphone. This collection, drawn from Cash's earliest singles from the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, finds all his influences intact from the very beginning. While more comprehensive compilations of the Sun years are available, budget-conscious listeners will find that this brief anthology has an uncanny cohesiveness. Cash recorded hundreds of albums. It all starts with these songs.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett